Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles stopped multiple woke reporters in their tracks during his daily press conference when he was asked about going against Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and “representation.”
During the Tampa Bay coach’s press event Tuesday, he was fielding questions from reporters who felt it necessary to turn the Bucs’ upcoming game against Pittsburgh into a race issue. The NFL coach made it clear he wasn’t interested in their agenda.
One reporter asked Bowles about how he and Tomlin are “two of the few black head coaches in the league,” what their relationship was like, and about the interim head coach for the Carolina Panthers Steve Wilks “joining that fold.”
“I have a very good relationship with Tomlin,” Bowles replied. “We don’t look at what color we are when we coach against each other. We just know each other. I have a lot of very good white friends that coach in this league as well.”
“And I don’t think it’s a big deal,” he added. “As far as us coaching against each other, I think it’s normal … and we coach ball. We don’t look at color.”
Todd Bowles on coaching against Mike Tomlin this Sunday: "I don't think it's a big deal…we don't look at color."
Bowles on representation in coaching: "I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well."
*Questions included for context pic.twitter.com/JtehXqqKcW
— David Schiele WTSP (@Deacon_Schiele) October 12, 2022
Another reporter then jumped in and appeared to scold the coach for not giving the woke response desired, and reminded him that “you also understand that representation matters, too, right?”
She then told the head coach about how seeing him there inspires others because “football players, they see you guys. You know, they see someone that looks like them, maybe grew up like them …”
“Well, when you say ‘see you guys’ and ‘look like them’ and ‘grow up like them’ means that we’re oddballs to begin with,” Bowles replied. “And I think the minute you guys start — stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well.”
Wilks was announced as interim head coach Monday after the Panthers fired coach Matt Rhule following the team’s dismal start to the 2022 season with a 1-4 start, as ESPN reported. Rhule was with the team for less than three years and amassed a total record of just 11-27.